Ranking factors have a history of their own. Search engine optimizers have always been on their toes about any change in these factors which can make or break their business. So after every algorithm update when there is so much hue and cry (some legitimate, some made up) there are many websites whose rankings get tanked and don’t recover anytime soon. After deep analysis and talking to fellow SEOs we have come to conclusion that irrespective of periodic algorithm updates from Google, there will be few ranking factors which will always remain relevant for Google and other search engines. Let’s see what are these:
1. Well Researched, High Quality Content : Google will always want to serve best results to its searchers, what is better than to have a link which has all the information required by a user, which is presented in a clear, crisp and interesting manner. Future belongs to – interesting, high quality content.
2. Social Signals : Social signals like +1, number of shares, comments , likes, retweets, all this will gain more weightage in Google’s algorithm. Google see them as a vote of trust that too casted by real human beings. On earlier occasion too we have written about if social signals will continue to grow as a stronger ranking factor. The answer is yes.
3. User Experience: Is your website using a Responsive web design. Is the design clean, attractive and less noisy? Is the navigation easy? Is it easy for a visitor to locate what he wants? Are the things properly placed in categories and subcategories. Do you have sitemap, robot txt, proper metas in place? Is it mobile friendly? All these questions related to architecture and design will grow louder in volume and will always remain an integral part of its ranking process.
4. Load Time : Speed will continue to remain an important factor. Google doesn’t want to serve heavy websites to its searchers. Also the searcher is getting more and more impatient. As per the latest study a user hardly waits for a sec or two for a site to load else he moves on. So, if your site doesn’t load in time, all your hard work goes for a toss. Go to webmaster tools, check site load time issues and work on those elements which are increasing the load time .
5. Backlinks and Citations: We all hate them but they will remain as a ranking factor no matter what Google says. The quantity wouldn’t count, the quality would. Paid links wouldn’t count, natural links would . The key to have natural high quality link will always be well researched, high quality interesting content.
This completes our full circle. Work on the above mentioned points and your website will never fall out of Google’s favor.